Muller -- "Was Calvin a Calvinist?"

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Marrow Man, Nov 4, 2009.

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  1. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    This is an interesting essay (transcript of a lecture) by Richard Muller. It examines the old "Calvin v. Calvinism" issues. I thought this paragraph, though, was particularly interesting:

     
  2. Reformed Thomist

    Reformed Thomist Puritan Board Sophomore

    It would be nice if Calvin were more Calvinistic on certain points.

    I mean, he didn't even subscribe to the Westminster Confession. Something fishy about that.
     
  3. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    This raises the question of exactly who first came up with the TULIP acrostic?
    Does anyone here know?
     
  5. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I agree. TULIP is a helpful summary of the doctrines of sovereign grace but is in no way a replacement or accurate representation of the Canons of Dordrecht as a whole since the Canons are a actually a presentation & defense of Reformed, covenant theology.

    I also agree that Calvin would find our modern dependence on TULIP to be reductionistic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    Attempted answer to my own question--earliest located example, 1905, Rev. Cleland Boyd McAfee, in a lecture before the Presbyterian Union, Newark, NJ, as per William H. Vail, writing in The New Outlook [vol. 104 (1913), p. 394], "The Five Points of Calvinism Historically Considered," where he states:

    "Some eight years ago I had the privilege of hearing a popular lecture by Dr. McAfee, of Brooklyn [Cleland Boyd McAfee, 1866-1944], upon the Five Points of Calvinism, given before the Presbyterian Union of Newark, New Jersey, which was most interesting as well as instructive. To aid the mind in remembering the Five Points, Dr. McAfee made use of the word Tulip, which, possessing five letters, lends itself nicely to the subject in hand, especially as it ends with the letter P, as will be seen later."

    Any earlier usage?
     
  7. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

  8. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    Some have attributed it to Loraine Boettner in 1932 in his The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. The order is different than the heads in Dort and reflects an English speaking effort at forging an acronym. In my recent graduate work on the Reformation and Calvin, I was convinced (in a preliminary way) that it cannot be attested in English prior to 1932 and Boettner.

    Obviously, this is NOT a summary of "Calvinism" let alone "Reformed" thought. First, it represents a positive spin on answering the points of the Remonstrants. Dort was not a synod writing a full orbed theology, merely answering some specific Arminian errors. Second, it deals only with soteriological concerns, not the broader issues of covenant and ecclesiology crucial to Calvin, Calvinism, and Reformed thought generally.

    Muller did a wonderful job of helping to pull the academic rug out from under those who had pitted Calvin against the Calvinists, suggesting that Calvin was good and those bad, nasty, scholastics (e.g., Turretin, Perkins, the Westminister Divines) messed up his wonderful theology. His many books and articles on the subject represent a pretty impressive scholarly refutation of such facile (and false) views.
     
  9. Reformed Thomist

    Reformed Thomist Puritan Board Sophomore

    I know Boettner's book has been massively influential, but color me surprised if that was in fact the acronym's debut.

    Now that I think of it, however, I cannot recall encountering it in my reading of any text with an original publication date prior to that of Boettner's.
     
  10. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Does anyone actually take TULIP as anything more than a teaching device? I've never been inclined to use it as an historical pointer to the reformed tradition.
     
  11. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    Seth:

    Thanks for that link, though I regret to see it is closed. Calling Dr. McMahon!!!

    I do think I've discovered the earliest citation of the acronymn (that and $5 will get me a cup of coffee!). In that citation, Vail seems to provide that anecdote with a view to history, as if he was answering this very question.

    Again, the earliest discovered use of the TULIP acronymn appears in an article by William H. Vail, writing in The New Outlook [vol. 104 (1913), p. 394], "The Five Points of Calvinism Historically Considered," where he states:

    "Some eight years ago I had the privilege of hearing a popular lecture by Dr. McAfee, of Brooklyn [Cleland Boyd McAfee, 1866-1944], upon the Five Points of Calvinism, given before the Presbyterian Union of Newark, New Jersey, which was most interesting as well as instructive. To aid the mind in remembering the Five Points, Dr. McAfee made use of the word Tulip, which, possessing five letters, lends itself nicely to the subject in hand, especially as it ends with the letter P, as will be seen later."

    The referenced date for the lecture would have been 1905. The above article of course is from 1913.

    By the way, I used Google Book search to locate that material. The advanced search feature allows you to set a range of dates for the search, and I plugged in 1780-1940 and up popped that reference. Research is getting too easy. You young whipper-snappers don't know what real work is these days. . .[grumble]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  12. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [video=youtube;skU-jBFzXl0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skU-jBFzXl0[/video]
     
  13. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    Congrats on the historical research. I have seen numerous (normally quite reliable) sources claim that Boettner was the first attested instance of the acronym. Nice catch, Wayne!
     
  14. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

    Here is a link to Google books and the article by Vail which Wayne referenced above:
    New outlook - Google Books

    It looks like Wayne is the winner of the contest by identifying the earliest published usage of the acronym TULIP!
     
  15. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    Whadda I win???!!! Whadda I win???!!!

    oh: fond congratulations.

    nevermind. shuffles away.

    :(
     
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